This past Saturday I had the opportunity to visit where I went for my undergraduate degree at the University of Baltimore to attend Wordcamp Mid-Atlantic. It was put on by Aaron Brazell AKA Technosailor who is well known in the wordpress community and in on his previous lives was Director of Technology for B5 Media which was at the time the largest blog network running on WordPress. He has some serious street cred in the WordPress community and currently has a consulting practice working with some great firms implementing WordPress as part of their strategy.
He kicked the morning off with a thank you to sponsors and an introduction to the event as well as integrating in some great Ignite Baltimore presentations to keep things lively and not just WordPress lectures. Mario Armstrong gave his personal branding presentation to start and we jumped into the first keynote of the day from Anil Dash of Six Apart. Read on…
Keynote from Anil Dash
After Aaron completed his opening remarks Anil Dash, co-founder of Six Apart (yes, that Six Apart) gave the first keynote of the day. He released some earth shattering news – Moveable Type solutions for WordPress. WOW. That was some serious breaking news and an exclusive for attendees. Our very own Social Media Swami broke the news with a video interview. From Shashi’s previous post:
“The audience at Word Camp Mid-Atlantic drew a deep breath as Anil Dash, one of the co-founders of Six Apart a rival blogging platform delivered the keynote address. During the keynote he made a very sensational announcement. The screen lit up with a URL http://www.sixapart.com/wordpress which is like Microsoft having a place for Apple software on their website.
They are open source and FREE.
The other unconventional part of this announcement is that Six Apart decided to use a very grassroots Word Press event to make this sensational announcement instead of calling the New York Times, Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. I took the opportunity to catch up with Anil Dash and interviewed him for this blog.”
Sessions Geeky and Not So Geeky
The rest of the day was composed of sessions that went from the design side to the programming side of WordPress. One of my favorites was the advanced session on the “Thesis” theme that has become so popular. It really opened up the hood for people wondering how this theme is different and more powerful that simple skins.
All of the sessions were great in their own way wrapping up with Dan Zarrella expanding WordPress functionality with “Twitter, Friendfeed and Social Tools”.
Jimmy Gardner captured some of the presentations which are already on Slideshare:
Closing Keynote from Mark Jaquith on “State of WordPress”
Mark Jaquith, who I first met at Gnomedex 2007 when I was writing for B5 Media, is a great guy and a sharp developer. I think he gets annoyed when I tell him that he looks like Corin Nemec (Stargate SG-1, Parker Lewis Can’t Lose) but wouldn’t you want to be told you look like TV/Movie star? I digress, but his presentation was a nice wrap up of the day and he talked about the improvements to WordPress 2.7, the epic FAIL of WordPress 1.5 and what is coming up in WordPress 2.8.
All I can say is that I am excited about detailed theme and widget control.
You can see the whole thing in Slideshare:
Mark Jaquith – State of the Word
It was a great event and Aaron along with support from Jimmy Gardner was a huge success. I see this to be even bigger next year.
Other coverage of the announcement and Word Camp Mid-Atlantic:
Leena Rao, Tech Crunch
Doug Coleman on ReadWriteWeb.com
Jimmy Gardner EastCoastBlogging.com
Joe Corbett Isteconnects.com
Mike Paetzold wptutorial.com
Ted Mann on TurkeyMonkey.com